Wednesday, December 05, 2012

from The Adventist Church is only a means to an end.

by Rich DuBose
NAD Ministerial

The main point of Gospel ministry, whether it be in a local church setting or in a larger sphere, is to connect people with Jesus. The Gospel Commission, as outlined in Matthew 28:19-20, is about connecting people with Jesus, and this is what every Seventh-day Adventist church should be doing.

Some Adventist churches and individual members seem to have other agendas. I don't believe their misdirected emphasis is intentional, but it is unfortunate just the same. Based upon their actions and words, they believe that our primary mission is to connect people with prophecy, or Ellen G. White, or vegetarianism, or veganism, or whatever. They won't come right out and say it, but if you visit their churches and spend time with them, it becomes obvious that in their view, how you connect with Jesus is just as significant, if not more so, than the fact that you are connected with him. Further, they will tell you there are prescribed ways to "do ministry" that must be followed if we are to have a legitimate calling and connection with Christ. And often their formulas for ministry create an unrelenting gauntlet of rigorous study and reform that adherents are required to go through before they can find the blessed assurance of forgiveness and cleansing.

Everything that we as Adventists teach and model should only be viewed as a means to an end - with the end declaring the Sonship and Lordship of Jesus Christ. Adventism is not the end - only a means to an end. Reading Scripture is only a means to an end; prophecy is a means to an end; the Sabbath is a means to an end. The end is Jesus - the Creator of heaven and earth.

Our message is not about Adventism! It's not about us - but about Jesus! Do Adventists have a unique calling and place in the 21st Century? Yes! We have been raised up to declare the everlasting gospel of grace and forgiveness, and to let the world know that the hour of God's judgment has come (Revelation 14:6). With third angel power Seventh-day Adventists are to declare that Babylon is fallen! Babylon not only represents religious concepts that are spiritually bankrupt, but the failed ideologies of capitalism and consumerism that promote the pursuit of ever-expanding consumption as the key to happiness and prosperity.

The popular American notion of unlimited market growth is unsustainable. Eventually the bubble bursts, things wear out, debts pile up, and environmental issues reach a breaking point. Many of the critical issues that we face today are related to the insatiable appetites we have developed for a lifestyle that requires huge amounts of resources, particularly energy and water that are rapidly being depleted.

Ultimately, all of our problems stem from our alienation from God and his plan for our lives. The only way out of this mess is to hear and follow what he says. As Adventist Christians our mission is to tell the world that we are more than consumers, more than pawns for politicians and quasi-religious leaders to use as they wish.

"But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God's very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God's people. Once you received no mercy, now you have received God's mercy" (1 Peter 2:9-10 NLT).

1 comment:

  1. Dear Bro. DuBose:
    I'm not so sure that what you said in this post is what you mean. Know Jesus?
    I'm sure there are a lot of Christians out there who would argue with you weather or not they 'know Jesus'.
    You say: We have been raised up to declare the everlasting gospel of grace and forgiveness, and to let the world know that the hour of God's judgment has come (Revelation 14:6).
    And this position of yours is the reason that Adventism is on 'life support' in some parts of the World.
    You haven't correctly identified what our God goal is and how we fit into the picture!
    The above quoted statement is what I would expect as an answer from our God's enemy, Satan. I'm sorry, but that is how I see it.